Togetherness Recap: The Problem With Michelle


The Sand Situation
Season 2 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****
Mark Duplass as Brett. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Full disclosure: I cried during tonight’s episode of Togetherness. “The Sand Situation” is a doozy of an episode. While Brett and Michelle have it out in a big way, Alex and Tina are working through their own problems. I want all of these characters to be happy, but that’s not how this show (or real life) works. Let’s discuss all the drama that happens in the episode, shall we?

After shoving Anna in the pool, it looks like Michelle is in charge again. Thank God! She’s calling meetings and getting the charter school back on track. Unfortunately, she has to share some of the school space with Brett, who is storing the Dune papier-mâché stuff there. The fact that Alex hasn’t cussed Brett out for getting him kicked out of his apartment for this dumb-ass play is remarkable. Anyway, Michelle tells Brett to move all their puppet crap out of the way and she goes to her meeting.

At the meeting, she warns everyone about Anna, but it’s too late: Anna shows up. And now these two are fighting over the direction of the school, which seems to really distract from the point of a functioning school in the first place, but whatever. Anna wants it to be a private school with a strict, French-inspired structure and Michelle wants … well, we don’t know. Michelle never thought about curriculum because that was Anna’s department. Hmm, that sucks. Michelle was trying to be a good leader who delegates, so it makes sense that she wouldn’t have a fully realized plan; however, the fact that she essentially kicked Anna out and didn’t even think about what she wants the school to be about doesn’t make sense. If you want to be in charge, you need to have an idea. Michelle doesn’t, so the fact that Anna is calling for a vote seems fair.

Michelle panics. When she sees Brett and Alex in a hallway, tweaking their papier-mâché dolls, she gets an idea: The school should be focused on the arts and humanities and the guys will be the teachers. As much as Michelle hates this Dune play, she needs Brett’s help. So, she wants them to put on the play that weekend to butter everyone up. (Anna is going to be throwing a fancy party, of course.) Brett signs on to help and says they need to steal a bunch of sand from the beach — which is illegal, by the way.

That evening, a bunch of the parents meet at the school with Brett, Alex, Tina, Michelle, Dudley’s friends, and … Natalie. Turns out Natalie is friends with Dudley. Fudge! Judging by Brett’s face, he hasn’t told her much about Michelle and we for damn sure know that Michelle knows nothing about Natalie. Hmm. I’m not entirely mad about this. I mean, it is certainly not ideal that Brett is casually dating someone, but he’s not with Michelle because she cheated. Unless it’s something serious, he’s not obligated to mention Natalie to Michelle. Does Nat think this is a casual fling, though? It’s clear that she is crushing on him pretty hard, so I’m concerned that this may be significant to her. Anyway, this is going to be awkward. I can’t look away!

Yep, it’s immediately awkward. While sitting in the truck over to the beach, Michelle puts her hand on Brett’s knee. Natalie sees this and makes a face. Alex is dancing and Natalie starts grinding on him to annoy Brett. Tina is being overly flirtatious with a random heaux and Alex is like, “LOL. Wut?” Basically, everyone is quietly judging each other’s life choices. I really hope Michelle does not find out about Brett and Natalie. When they arrive at the beach, Natalie and Michelle introduce themselves to each other. Natalie clearly has no idea she is Brett’s estranged wife, which is messed up. Did he not tell her he’s in the middle of a separation?

Knowing how bad this situation is, Brett tells Alex what is happening. And because Alex is apparently everyone’s confidant, Michelle tells him that she’s worried Tina is a little baby-obsessed and might try to get pregnant with a random dude. From the looks of things with this guy she’s flirting with, Colin, that could happen at any minute. Sigh. Tina, this is not the way to go about things. Mourn the end of your relationship with Larry. Give it a month and then figure out when you want to have a baby. Don’t try and bone one of Dudley’s jankity-ass friends. Speaking of Dudley, he is on lookout and manages to help everyone avoid the cops by radioing them in time; the crew pretends they are a late-night exercise class. A’ight, maybe Dudley is not the worst. Still, Tina should not smash any of his friends. Michelle shouldn’t use Alex to be a cockblock, either. What is this, high school?

Brett and Natalie talk about Michelle and Natalie is so cool about it and I’m like, “Maybe I should be dating her.” After everyone gets the bins full of sand, they realize there is no ramp on the moving van, so Brett and Michelle try to figure out a new plan. They’re getting along better than they have been in weeks. There is clearly still a spark there. They eventually come up with a plan that involves a makeshift pulley system and start getting all the bins into the van. Hooray! The only problem? Dudley is trying to radio Brett that the cops are coming, but Brett and Co. are too busy celebrating that they got the bins in the truck, so Dudley creates a diversion — urinating all over the street — and gets arrested. Aww, thanks Dudley!

While everyone else heads back to the school to unload the bins, Tina and Alex have a fight because they are obviously in love with each other Alex cockblocked Tina again. As frustrating as that is, Alex does have a point: You don’t just go around trying to get pregnant by anyone. I mean, she doesn’t even know Colin’s last name. Tina is like, “You’re not my friend.” Alex disagrees, even though they haven’t really talked or hung out in months. Sigh. This is what happens when relationships are not defined, folks. Alex clearly cares for Tina, but he has no right to tell her what the eff to do. They need to define their relationship soon. All of this passive-aggressive sniping is too much too handle. On the other hand, one non-passive-aggressive thing comes out of their fight: Alex offers up his sperm. She laughs and it’s like GET MARRIED ALREADY, GUYS!

Back at the school, everyone is done unloading and Brett goes to say goodnight to Natalie. They kiss … and Michelle sees them. Oh shit! Natalie drives off and Michelle lets Brett have it. I can’t fully get onboard with her complaint, though. Yes, it is hurtful that he slept with someone else during their separation. It certainly blows, but to be like, “I was feeling bad while you were hanging out with someone else” and then have the audacity to be like, “We are done. You don’t get to come home.” BISH! Shut up. The only reason Brett is out in these streets is because Michelle cheated. I highly object to her trying to take the moral high ground here. It’s absurd. And the fact that Brett was the one who moved out to begin with — even though Michelle was the guilty party in this situation — is doubly gross. I like Michelle and will continue to be #TeamBrettAndMichelle because they are ultimately good together, but in this moment, she can go eff herself. She is being a complete jackass. It’s not fair for her to cheat, then basically hound him to immediately forgive her, then she paints it like he’s a jerk when he takes a timeout from the relationship. You just shouldn’t end a relationship that way.

After the fight, the episode closes on Alex and Tina. Tina is sleeping at Michelle’s home when he pops by for a visit. The two of them civilly and calmly talk. Alex apologizes for his behavior, saying he just wants her in his life and vice versa. They’re friends again. This is really sweet and gives me hope that they’ll be baes.

Alrighty, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Are you as irritated with Michelle as I am?

Togetherness Recap: The Problem With Michelle